Chapter 12. OpenOffice.org as a Community Effort

OpenOffice.org is free to use, and you can share it with your friends for free, but it wasn’t free to develop. It started life as a commercial program called StarOffice. Sun Microsystems purchased StarOffice publisher StarDivision in 1999 and released OpenOffice.org Build 641—essentially a modified version of StarOffice 5.1—as open source software in 2000.

The original StarOffice was one of the first decent office software packages for Linux. It was included in many major Linux distributions, just as Microsoft Works is often part of a Windows installation. When Sun bought it, renamed it, and “opened” its source code, improvements came more rapidly than they had when StarOffice was closed-source, ...

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